meconic (adj.) Look up meconic at
in reference to an acid obtained from opium, 1819, from Greek mekonikos "of or pertaining to the poppy," from mekon "poppy" (see meconium). Related: Meconine (n.).
meconium (n.) Look up meconium at
"fecal discharge from a newborn infant," 1706, from Latin meconium "excrement of a newborn child," literally "poppy juice," from Greek mekonion "poppy-juice, opium," diminutive of mekon "poppy" (perhaps cognate with Old Church Slavonic maku, German Mohn "poppy"). So called by classical physicians for its resemblance. Related: Meconial.
med (n.) Look up med at
colloquial abbreviation of medicine, 1942. With a capital M and short for Mediterranean, by 1948.
medal (v.) Look up medal at
1845, "stamped onto a medal," from medal (n.). From 1857 as "to award (someone or something) a medal;" intransitive sense is 20c. Related: Medaled; medalled; medaling; medalling.
medal (n.) Look up medal at
1580s, from Middle French médaille (15c.), from Italian medaglia "a medal," according to OED from Vulgar Latin *metallea (moneta) "metal (coin)," from Latin metallum (see metal). The other theory [Klein, Barnhart, Watkins] is that medaglia originally meant "coin worth half a denarius," and is from Vulgar Latin *medalia, from Late Latin medialia "little halves," neuter plural of medialis "of the middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). Originally a trinket or charm; as a reward for merit, proficiency, etc., attested from 1751.
medalist (n.) Look up medalist at
1680s, "one skilled in medals," from medal (n.) + -ist. Meaning "medal-maker" is from 1756; that of "recipient of a medal" is from 1797.
medallion (n.) Look up medallion at
1650s, from French médaillon (17c.), from Italian medaglione "large medal," augmentative of medaglia (see medal).
meddle (v.) Look up meddle at
early 14c., "to mingle, blend, mix," from Old North French medler (Old French mesler, 12c., Modern French mêler) "to mix, mingle, to meddle," from Vulgar Latin *misculare (source of Provençal mesclar, Spanish mezclar, Italian mescolare, meschiare), from Latin miscere "to mix" (see mix (v.)). From late 14c. as "busy oneself, be concerned with, engage in;" also disparagingly "interfere, be officious, make a nuisance of oneself" (the notion is of meddling too much). From mid-14c. to 1700, it also was a euphemism for "have sexual intercourse." Related: Meddled; meddling.
meddler (n.) Look up meddler at
late 14c., "practitioner," agent noun from meddle (v.). Meaning "one who interferes, a nuisance" is mid-15c.
meddlesome (adj.) Look up meddlesome at
1610s, from meddle + -some (1). Earlier was medlous "quarrelsome, meddlesome" (mid-15c.). Related: Meddlesomely. Character name Meddlesome Mattie attested from 1814.
meddling (n.) Look up meddling at
"action of blending," mid-14c., from present participle of meddle (v.). Meaning "action of taking part, interference" is late 14c. As a past participle adjective, from 1520s. Related: Meddlingly.
Mede Look up Mede at
inhabitant of ancient Media, late 14c., from Latin Medus, from Greek Medos "Mede," from the indigenous people-name Medes, said to be from the name of their first king (Medos).
Medea Look up Medea at
famous sorceress, daughter of the king of Colchis, from Latin Medea, from Greek Medeia, literally "cunning," related to medos "counsel, plan, device, cunning," medein "to protect, rule over," from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures."
medevac Look up medevac at
1966, U.S. military, formed from elements of medical evacuation.
media (n.) Look up media at
"newspapers, radio, TV, etc." 1927, perhaps abstracted from mass media (1923, a technical term in advertising); plural of medium, on notion of "intermediate agency," a sense found in that word in English from c. 1600. See -a (2).
mediaeval Look up mediaeval at
see medieval.
medial (n.) Look up medial at
"a medial letter," 1776, from medial (adj.).
medial (adj.) Look up medial at
1560s, "pertaining to a mathematical mean," from Late Latin medialis "of the middle," from Latin medius "in the middle, between; from the middle," as a noun (medium) "the middle;" from PIE root *medhyo- "middle." Meaning "occupying a middle position" is attested from 1721.
medially (adv.) Look up medially at
1804, from medial (adj.) + -ly (2).
median (n.) Look up median at
"a median part," 1540s, from Latin medianus (see median (adj.)). Meaning "middle number of a series" is from 1883.
median (adj.) Look up median at
1590s, from Middle French médian (15c.) and directly from Latin medianus "of the middle," from medius "in the middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). Originally anatomical, of veins, arteries, nerves. Median strip "strip between lanes of traffic" is from 1954.
mediant (n.) Look up mediant at
"third note of the diatonic scale," 1753, from Italian mediante, from Late Latin mediantem (nominative medians) "dividing in the middle," present participle of mediare "to be in the middle" (see mediate). So called from being midway between the tonic and the dominant.
mediate (v.) Look up mediate at
1540s, "divide in two equal parts," probably a back-formation from mediation or mediator, or else from Latin mediatus, past participle of mediare "to halve," later, "be in the middle," from Latin medius "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). Meaning "act as a mediator" is from 1610s; that of "settle by mediation" is from 1560s. Related: Mediated, mediates, mediating.
mediation (n.) Look up mediation at
late 14c., from Medieval Latin mediationem (nominative mediatio) "a division in the middle," noun of action from past participle stem of mediare "to halve; to be in the middle" (see mediate). Related: Mediational.
mediator (n.) Look up mediator at
mid-14c., from Late Latin mediatorem (nominative mediator) "one who mediates," agent noun from past participle stem of mediare "to intervene, mediate," also "to be or divide in the middle" (see mediate). Originally applied to Christ, who in Christian theology "mediates" between God and man. Meaning "one who intervenes between two disputing parties" is first attested late 14c. Feminine form mediatrix (originally of the Virgin Mary) from c. 1400. Related: Mediatorial; mediatory.
medic (n.) Look up medic at
1650s, "physician, medical student," from Latin medicus "physician" (see medical (adj.)); modern sense of "serviceman in a military medical corps" first recorded 1925.
medicable (adj.) Look up medicable at
1610s, from Latin medicabilis "curable," from medicare, medicari "to medicate, heal, cure" (poetic and Late Latin) from medicus "physician, healing" (see medical (adj.)).
Medicaid Look up Medicaid at
1966, U.S. medical assistance program set up by Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965. See medical (adj.) + aid (n.).
medical (n.) Look up medical at
1917, short for medical examination.
medical (adj.) Look up medical at
1640s, from French médical, from Late Latin medicalis "of a physician," from Latin medicus "physician, surgeon, medical man" (n.); "healing, madicinal" (adj.), from mederi "to heal, give medical attention to, cure," originally "know the best course for," from an early specialization of PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures" (source also of Avestan vi-mad- "physician"). The earlier adjective in English in this sense was medicinal. Related: Medically.
medicament (n.) Look up medicament at
mid-15c., "medical skill; a medicinal compound," from Middle French médicament (15c.), from Latin medicamentum "drug, remedy," literally "means of healing," from medicare, medicari "to medicate, heal, cure" (poetic and Late Latin) from medicus "physician; healing" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures").
Medicare (n.) Look up Medicare at
name for a state-run health insurance system, 1962, originally in a Canadian context, from medical (adj.) + care (n.). U.S. use is from 1965.
medicaster (n.) Look up medicaster at
"quack," c. 1600, from Latin *medicaster (source also of Italian medicastro, French médicastre, 16c.), from medicus "physician" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"). The feminine form is medicastra. Compare also -aster.
medicate (v.) Look up medicate at
"to treat medicinally," 1620s, a back-formation from medication, or else from Late Latin medicatus, past participle of medicare, medicari "to medicate, heal, cure" (poetic and Late Latin) from medicus "physician; healing" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"). Related: Medicated; medicating. The earlier verb in English was simply medicin (late 14c.).
medication (n.) Look up medication at
early 15c., "medical treatment of a disease or wound," from Middle French médication and directly from Latin medicationem (nominative medicatio) "healing, cure," from past participle stem of medicare, medicari "to medicate, heal, cure" (poetic and Late Latin) from medicus "physician; healing" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures").
medicinal (adj.) Look up medicinal at
late 14c., from Old French medicinal and directly from Latin medicinalis "pertaining to medicine," from medicina (see medicine). Related: Medicinally.
medicine (n.) Look up medicine at
c. 1200, "medical treatment, cure, remedy," also used figuratively, of spiritual remedies, from Old French medecine (Modern French médicine) "medicine, art of healing, cure, treatment, potion," from Latin medicina "the healing art, medicine; a remedy," also used figuratively, perhaps originally ars medicina "the medical art," from fem. of medicinus (adj.) "of a doctor," from medicus "a physician" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"); though OED finds evidence for this is wanting. Meaning "a medicinal potion or plaster" in English is mid-14c.

To take (one's) medicine "submit to something disagreeable" is first recorded 1865. North American Indian medicine-man "shaman" is first attested 1801, from American Indian adoption of the word medicine in sense of "magical influence." The U.S.-Canadian boundary they called Medicine Line (first attested 1910), because it conferred a kind of magic protection: punishment for crimes committed on one side of it could be avoided by crossing over to the other. Medicine show "traveling show meant to attract a crowd so patent medicine can be sold to them" is American English, 1938. Medicine ball "stuffed leather ball used for exercise" is from 1889.
It is called a "medicine ball" and it got that title from Prof. Roberts, now of Springfield, whose fame is widespread, and whose bright and peculiar dictionary of terms for his prescription department in physical culture is taught in every first-class conducted Y.M.C.A. gymnasium in America. Prof. Roberts calls it a "medicine ball" because playful exercise with it invigorates the body, promotes digestion, and restores and preserves one's health. ["Scientific American Supplement," March 16, 1889]
medico (n.) Look up medico at
"medical practitioner," 1680s, from Spanish médico or Italian medico, from Latin medicus "physician; healing" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures").
medico- Look up medico- at
used as a comb. form of Latin medicus "physician; healing" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures").
medico-legal (adj.) Look up medico-legal at
1835, from medico- + legal.
medieval (adj.) Look up medieval at
1827, "pertaining to or suggestive of the Middle Ages," coined in English from Latin medium "the middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + aevum "age" (see eon).
medievalism (n.) Look up medievalism at
1846, from medieval + -ism.
medievalist (n.) Look up medievalist at
1847, "proponent of medieval styles," from medieval + -ist. From 1882 as "one versed in the history of the Middle Ages."
medievally (adv.) Look up medievally at
1844, from medieval + -ly (2).
medio- Look up medio- at
word-forming element from comb. form of Latin medius "middle" (see medial (adj.)).
mediocre (adj.) Look up mediocre at
1580s, from Middle French médiocre (16c.), from Latin mediocris "of middling height or state, moderate, ordinary," figuratively "mediocre, mean, inferior," originally "halfway up a mountain," from medius "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + ocris "jagged mountain" (cognate with Greek okris "peak, point," Welsh ochr "corner, border," Latin acer "sharp;" from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce"). As a noun, "mediocre thing or person," by 1834.
mediocritization (n.) Look up mediocritization at
1917 (Will Durant), noun of state or action from mediocritize.
mediocritize (v.) Look up mediocritize at
1854 (implied in mediocritizing); see mediocrity + -ize. Related: Mediocritized.
mediocrity (n.) Look up mediocrity at
early 15c., "moderation; intermediate state or amount," from Middle French médiocrité and directly from Latin mediocritatem (nominative mediocritas) "a middle state, middling condition, medium," from mediocris (see mediocre). Neutral at first; disparaging sense began to predominate from late 16c. The meaning "person of mediocre abilities or attainments" is from 1690s. Before the tinge of disparagement crept in, another name for the Golden Mean was golden mediocrity.
meditate (v.) Look up meditate at
1580s, "to ponder," back-formation from meditation, or else from Latin meditatus, past participle of meditari "to meditate, think over, reflect, consider," frequentative form of PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures." Related: Meditated; meditating.